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(p. 188) Reactance Level 

(p. 188) Reactance Level
(p. 188) Reactance Level

Christopher J. Edwards

, Larry E. Beutler

, and Kathleen Someah

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date: 07 August 2020

Resistance and its extreme variation, reactance, are uniformly observed across varieties of psychotherapy. This chapter provides definitions of reactance, reviews its frequent measures, and offers a clinical example. A meta-analysis of 13 controlled studies (1,208 patients) examined the degree to which treatment outcomes are enhanced when therapists offer less directive treatments to high reactance patients. The results revealed a large effect size (d = .79), confirming that highly reactant individuals did better in psychotherapy when the therapist assumed a reflective and nondirective stance. To a lesser degree, the opposite was also true. Limitations of the research and diversity considerations are noted. Practice recommendations are provided to minimize a patient’s reactant behavior.

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